Andy Murray

Creature comforts help Andy Murray reach Surbiton final

Andy Murray revealed that creature comforts have propelled him through the LTA’s Lexus Surbiton Trophy. 

The former world no.1 conquered heat, wind, a boisterous crowd and stubborn Australian Jordan Thompson to reach the final. 

Murray’s hard-fought 7-6 (5) 6-3 win over Thompson leaves him on the cusp of a first grass court title since his second Wimbledon win back in 2016. 

After a sporting life spent on red-eye flights, a short drive up the A3 from his Surrey home makes this one of the highlights of the 36-year-old’s playing calendar.

He said: “I want to try and win all the tournaments I am in and I actually have not played that much grass-court tennis since 2016.

“I always feel like I am capable of winning, I got close last year at Stuttgart and was unfortunate in the final there.

“It is great to get another opportunity to win a title on grass.

“It was very hot in the semi-final and there were a lot of very tough, long points.

“There were some really tight moments at the end of the first set but I did well to get through that and deserved the win in the second set.

“It is nice to play at Surbiton because it is really close to where I live.

“It is like a 20 minute drive every morning, I get to see my family and sleep in my own bed every morning and in the evenings which is brilliant.

“It is just unbelievably convenient and great to get these matches in ahead the rest of the grass-court season.”

The wind had been causing Murray problems on centre court in the early stages of the tournament – he lost the first set of his quarter-final against Jason Kubler before rallying to a 3-6 6-3 6-4 victory.

In the semis it was 30-degree heat and Thompson’s grass-court know-how that proved the biggest obstacles.

He added: “Today certainly during the first set it was a lot calmer out there on centre court.

“It was much less breezy, but it did feel like it picked up again in the second set.

“But yeah, I felt like I moved well, I hit the ball pretty good.

“Jordan plays well on the grass, he obviously won here last year and made the finals in Nottingham.

“You would have to ask him, but I think this is his favourite surface to play on.”

“But yeah, the last two wins have been good ones against experienced grass-court players. Things are going positively and in the right direction, but there are still things I need to improve on over the next few weeks.”

Murray was all done in time for dinner with wife Kim and the kids, a far cry from the late-night classics that have characterised his career.

Night sessions have come under scrutiny for a variety of reasons in recent years, most recently at the French Open, where tournament organisers were criticised for a lack of women’s matches during the session.

And while the two-time Wimbledon winner believes there is a place for night sessions in the sport, he called on schedulers to be sympathetic to the needs of fans and players.

“I have had good and bad experiences playing in the evening, I think when it starts at a respectable time for the players, the fans and everyone involved in the tournament I think it can be positive,” said Murray.

“Some of the best atmospheres of my career have been in the evening, but I have also been in situations where the matches are finishing at two in the morning or four in the morning.

“That is no good for anyone, it is unfair on the players in terms of expecting them to perform at their best at that time and also in terms of asking them to come back and recover the next day.

“I think if you start at a reasonable time then I think it is good, not everyone during the week has the opportunity to skive off work during the day.

“For some people, it is easier to come and watch afterwards.

“I am not against night sessions, I just think they need to start at the right time for everyone.”

For the latest action on the British summer grass court season, check out the LTA website.

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